Difference between revisions of "Human reproduction"

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m (when the soul comes in should probably be separated from the technical biological details of reproduction)
(This seemed WAY too graphic for a family-friendly encyclopedia)
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[[Image:Sperm-egg.jpg|thumbnail|Sperm cell hitting an egg cell]]
 
[[Image:Sperm-egg.jpg|thumbnail|Sperm cell hitting an egg cell]]
  
'''Human reproduction''' is the process by which children are conceived and born. In order for human reproduction to occur under normal circumstances, a man and woman engage in [[sexual intercourse]]. Exceptionally, reproduction may take place via procedures such as [[in vitro fertilization]]. [[Christianity]] sanctions intercourse within [[marriage]]; most non-Christian cultures also enshrine this activity within a marriage-like union: a lifelong, religiously and legally sanctioned bond between one man and one woman.  
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'''Human reproduction''' is the process by which children are conceived and born. In order for human reproduction to occur under normal circumstances<ref>Exceptionally, reproduction may take place via procedures such as [[in vitro fertilization]]</ref>, a man and woman engage in [[sexual intercourse]]. [[Christianity]] sanctions intercourse within [[marriage]]; most non-Christian cultures also enshrine this activity within a marriage-like union: a lifelong, religiously and legally sanctioned bond between one man and one woman.  
  
To reproduce successfully, both parties need some degree of sexual arousal - often achieved by foreplay. For the human male, this means a faster heartbeat, the emitting of pre-ejaculatory fluids, the scrotum tightening and retracting towards the thighs and increased blood flow towards the penis - causing it to enlargen, stiffen and rise upwards. In females, the heartbeat increases, the nipples erect(rise) and vaginal lubrication fluids are emitted from the Bartholin glands, to facilitate intercourse. Eventually, to reproduce, the penis (the male reproductory organ) enters the vagina (female reproductory organ). The male slides the penis in and out until the friction causes an orgasm. The male orgasm is accompanied by several muscular contraction, causing semen to eject through the urethra into the vagina. From there, the sperm continues through the cervix, through the uterus, where it enters the Fallopian tubes and possibly unites with a female egg - if one is present. These gametes carry just one half of the [[gene]]tic material ([[chromosome]]s) from each parent, and when they combine the new [[embryo]] contains a full set of chromosomes. The process of the gametes combining is called [[fertilization]], and takes place inside the woman's body, in the [[Fallopian tubes]] or [[uterus]]. The embryo then attaches itself to the uterine lining, and is nourished by the placenta (which in turn receives its nourishment from the mother's body) while it develops. This development takes roughly nine months (see [[Naegele's Rule]]).
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The ultimate act of intimacy serves to unite the male and female [[gamete]]s, the [[sperm]] and [[egg]], respectively. These gametes carry just one half of the [[gene]]tic material ([[chromosome]]s) from each parent, and when they combine the new [[embryo]] contains a full set of chromosomes, as well as its [[soul]]. The process of the gametes combining is called [[fertilization]], and takes place inside the woman's body, in the [[Fallopian tubes]] or [[uterus]]. The embryo then attaches itself to the uterine lining, and is nourished by the placenta (which in turn receives its nourishment from the mother's body) while it develops. This development takes roughly nine months (see [[Naegele's Rule]]).
  
 
At the end of this process of protected development, what was once an embryo is now born as a new baby. Human babies are relatively helpless, and depend on the care and love of their parents in order to survive to maturity themselves.
 
At the end of this process of protected development, what was once an embryo is now born as a new baby. Human babies are relatively helpless, and depend on the care and love of their parents in order to survive to maturity themselves.

Revision as of 13:52, 23 October 2008

Sperm cell hitting an egg cell

Human reproduction is the process by which children are conceived and born. In order for human reproduction to occur under normal circumstances[1], a man and woman engage in sexual intercourse. Christianity sanctions intercourse within marriage; most non-Christian cultures also enshrine this activity within a marriage-like union: a lifelong, religiously and legally sanctioned bond between one man and one woman.

The ultimate act of intimacy serves to unite the male and female gametes, the sperm and egg, respectively. These gametes carry just one half of the genetic material (chromosomes) from each parent, and when they combine the new embryo contains a full set of chromosomes, as well as its soul. The process of the gametes combining is called fertilization, and takes place inside the woman's body, in the Fallopian tubes or uterus. The embryo then attaches itself to the uterine lining, and is nourished by the placenta (which in turn receives its nourishment from the mother's body) while it develops. This development takes roughly nine months (see Naegele's Rule).

At the end of this process of protected development, what was once an embryo is now born as a new baby. Human babies are relatively helpless, and depend on the care and love of their parents in order to survive to maturity themselves.

Humans are not able to reproduce alone by budding, parthenogenesis, or self-cloning as some species are capable of. In addition, human gender is fixed at conception, unlike some species'; females are not able to become male or vice versa to deal with homogeneous populations of one gender.

References

  1. Exceptionally, reproduction may take place via procedures such as in vitro fertilization